Set-up, not automotive idea, behind F1 deficit to Crimson Bull

The Italian squad had hoped to have the ability to lead the problem in opposition to Crimson Bull in F1’s season opener final weekend. 

However regardless of pushing its rival onerous in qualifying, worse tyre degradation within the race left it properly adrift earlier than Charles Leclerc suffered an engine drawback whereas operating third.

PLUS: The crucial Crimson Bull tyre tactic Ferrari could not copy in Bahrain GP

That left the door open for a hard-charging Fernando Alonso to swoop his Aston Martin previous Carlos Sainz late on within the race and seize the ultimate podium end. 

With Mercedes, which completed simply behind Sainz, already admitting it should change route with its automotive philosophy whether it is to get again to the entrance of F1, there may be already some debate about whether or not or not Ferrari wants to contemplate the identical factor. 

It has pursued an in-wash aero philosophy whereas the advantages of the downwash resolution pioneered by Crimson Bull are clear to see – particularly as Aston Martin’s copying of it has delivered such good outcomes. 

When requested if Ferrari nonetheless had perception its idea might beat Crimson Bull, staff principal Fred Vasseur mentioned: “I am fully satisfied about this.  

“I by no means noticed a automotive to match the tempo of one other one in quali and to not in a position to race. [So] then it is a matter of set-up and a few decisions on the automotive. It isn’t a matter of idea in any respect. So, we do not have to enter this route.” 

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Sergio Perez, Crimson Bull Racing RB19

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Photographs

Vasseur thinks Ferrari solely wants to enhance small particulars to get itself right into a place to place Crimson Bull beneath stress. 

“To summarise the state of affairs, I might say on quali tempo, we’re there, we’re matching Crimson Bull, at the very least in Bahrain. It was a optimistic level,” he mentioned. 

“However now we’ve to be absolutely real looking. If we need to enhance, we have to have a transparent image of the state of affairs, and reliability shouldn’t be on the degree that we’d like.  

“If we need to win races, we have to have clear sheet on the weekend and never small particulars there and there.”

Whereas Crimson Bull’s dominance in Bahrain has prompted recommendations the championship battle is all however over, Vasseur insists nothing is misplaced but. 

“It is by no means good to start out with a DNF, and I might have most well-liked to complete for positive, however I need to keep constant in my place,” he mentioned. 

“I advised the staff earlier than the check in Bahrain two weeks in the past that the championship will not be over in Bahrain, and it does not matter the end in any case. 

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“It was true for the winter check, and it is true for at present. The staff skilled a distinct state of affairs previously and an important factor now could be to have the ability to have a transparent image of the state of affairs, see the place we’re failing and to do a correct evaluation on this and to conduct a stronger response.” 

Engine investigation 

Ferrari has launched an investigation into what went unsuitable with the ability unit in Leclerc’s automotive, after it shut down whereas he was operating third. 

Vasseur mentioned the issue had come out of the blue, as there had been no trace of a problem throughout winter dyno operating nor pre-season testing. 

“We by no means anticipated to have one thing like this,” he mentioned. “It’s the first time that we had it. We did not face the identical problem in any respect throughout the 6000-7000km that we did with the engine within the final week with the three groups [Ferrari and its two customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas], and we did not develop the identical problem on the dyno.” 

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